Shopify vs. WordPress: Which Is Best for Your Online Store?

Shopify is better for businesses focused on sales, while WordPress can help you build a website that does much more.
Rosalie Murphy
By Rosalie Murphy 
Edited by Ryan Lane

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Shopify and WordPress are among the most well-known e-commerce website builders. The difference is that Shopify is focused entirely on online stores, while WordPress is a much broader website builder that can also offer e-commerce tools.

Most e-commerce businesses seeking an out-of-the-box solution are likely better off using Shopify. Since Shopify stores and websites are one and the same, it’s simply easier to set up a store, list products and start taking payments quickly. With WordPress, you’ll have to build and then go through the additional step of setting up your store.

Here’s how to decide whether Shopify or WordPress is better for your business.



Shopify Ecommerce

Monthly Fee 


Basic Plan. Shopify & Advanced Plans Available. 

Shopify vs. WordPress: Deciding factors

Because WordPress doesn’t have built-in e-commerce functionality, this comparison chart focuses on WooCommerce, the plug-in many WordPress users are likely to choose for online sales. However, other options are available with varying price structures and features.


WooCommerce for WordPress

Entry-level pricing

Shopify’s cheapest website builder plan, Basic, costs $29 per month when billed annually.

WooCommerce is a free, open-source plug-in, but you’ll need a WordPress plan that costs at least $25 per month to use it. You can also spring for a hosted version of WooCommerce, which starts at $25 per month.

Payment processing

Shopify Payments takes a transaction fee of 2.9% plus 30 cents per online sale. Shopify charges Basic customers an extra 2% if they choose a different payment processor, though that fee starts to fall in more expensive pricing tiers.

WooCommerce Payments comes standard and charges a transaction fee of 2.9% plus 30 cents per online transaction. You can choose other payment processors with no additional fees from WordPress.

Online marketplace integrations

Native integrations with Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, Google and Walmart. Amazon integration requires an app that has free and paid plans.

Extensions offer integrations with Amazon, Etsy, Google Shopping, eBay, Walmart, Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, TikTok and more.

Where Shopify wins: Better for e-commerce

Shopify is a dedicated e-commerce platform, which means all of its tools can help you manage and fulfill online sales, market your products and build relationships with your customers. But if e-commerce sales aren’t your top business priority, you may be better off with a platform like WordPress or Squarespace that offers content creation, appointment booking and member management tools.

Fast store setup

Shopify can help you set up an online store in relatively few steps. After you create an account, you’ll set up payment processing and shipping and make some simple website design choices, like colors and fonts. Then you can start listing products and taking payments right away.

With WordPress, you design your website first, then install a plug-in to add e-commerce functionality to it — resulting in a much longer setup process.

Simple order management and fulfillment tools

Shopify’s order dashboard lets you see every sale you’ve made — whether it took place on your website, a marketplace like Google Shopping or a social media platform like Instagram. You can print shipping labels, track packages, offer in-store pickup and manage communications with customers. Shopify also generates sales analytics that can help you better understand your business performance.

WooCommerce, the popular WordPress e-commerce plug-in, comes with an order overview dashboard too — but again, it’s a second set of tools you’ll need to learn to use.

Built-in cybersecurity features

Shopify’s websites are payment card industry (PCI) compliant by default, which can help protect your customers’ personal data such as credit card numbers. And if you buy a domain name through Shopify or host your assets on Shopify’s servers, you’ll automatically get a TLS certificate that encrypts communications between your website and others.

Because WooCommerce is open-source, these features aren’t necessarily built in. You’ll need to make sure your payment processor is PCI compliant. If you host your site on WordPress, SSL compliance comes standard (this is similar to a TLS certificate). Otherwise, you’ll need to make sure your small-business web hosting service is SSL or TLS certified.

Where WordPress wins: Better for more complex websites

WordPress is a content management platform that you can use to build any type of website, whether or not you sell products. An online shopping cart and other e-commerce features don’t come standard the way they do with Shopify, though. You’ll need to take the additional step of installing a plug-in like WooCommerce.

Huge variety of customization options

You’ve almost certainly visited a WordPress website. But because WordPress sites are so customizable, you may not realize it. You can choose from thousands of themes, including many free ones, or design your own. On top of that, you can use plug-ins to add all kinds of website features, from contact forms to social media feeds.

If you use WooCommerce as your online store builder, you’ll have additional theme options, plus chances to customize the checkout experience.

Shopify offers themes and customization options too — just not nearly as many.

Your choice of payment processor

WordPress and WooCommerce users can use WooCommerce Payments, which charges fees comparable to Shopify’s, or users can install extensions that support other payment processors. This can be useful for businesses in industries that some payment processors deem high-risk, like those with age restrictions or high chargeback rates. Finding cheap payment processing can also help your business save money.

Shopify lets its merchants choose other payment processors, but it charges most users such a high fee for doing so that it’s probably not worth it.

Support for other types of online content

WordPress is a powerful content management system. You can use WordPress and its plug-ins to blog, offer exclusive content to members, sell tickets and event registrations, schedule appointments and much more. If your business isn’t solely focused on e-commerce, WordPress may be a good choice for you.

Shopify, on the other hand, is primarily for e-commerce. You can sell digital content and use extensions to facilitate appointment booking, but most of its tools are designed with product sales in mind.

Shopify vs. WordPress: Which is best for your business?

Shopify is a better choice for businesses that:

  • Want to start selling products right away.

  • Don’t mind using Shopify’s built-in themes or payment processing service.

  • Are smaller and don’t have the resources to build large, complex websites.

WordPress, on the other hand, is better for businesses that:

  • Want to customize their websites extensively. 

  • Want to choose their own payment processor. 

  • Don’t focus exclusively on e-commerce sales.

A version of this article was first published on Fundera, a subsidiary of NerdWallet.

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